A time dedicated to those who are silent


During a meeting held yesterday on inclusivity and diversity in small organizations involved in technical projects, a problem was discussed:

In communities that have a focus on technical topics (forgefriends certainly is such a community), the level of expertise required to participate in most (if not all) discussions is intimidating to those who do not excel. As a result they feel excluded, do not discuss much (if at all) and cannot figure out how to contribute.

In larger communities it would make sense to create different spaces where highly technical discussions happen and others where no expertise except common sense is required. But when the community is small, that would lead to empty spaces where people are isolated and would likely stay silent while the discussion keeps going in the main chatroom. And that would not be a good step to be more inclusive.

A simple idea was proposed and I would very much like to experiment with it in the weeks to come: a few hours of time (2 hours, maybe 4?) could be dedicated in the main chatroom to make space for people who do not usually express themselves. The people who are usually vocal would be invited to be more discreet and only participate to the extent that it encourages others to express ideas, concerns, etc.

What do you think?

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In the forge federation general chatroom:

@room the more vocal people in this chatroom (Iā€™m one of them) are kindly invited to listen and pay attention to other participants who are usually quiet. If you are one of them and felt that it was difficult to speak your mind in the past, today is an opportunity to change this status quo. For instance if the discussion derives to highly technical topics instead of focusing on user needs.

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Great idea!

Some Subreddits(Reddit forums?) create weekly threads where questions and discussions of all levels of expertise is entertained.

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